SIEM REAP PROVINCE
Hundreds of fish and meat vendors protested in front of Siem Reap provincial hall on Tuesday over city officials’ plans to evict them to make way for banana vendors whose trade is currently spilling into the market’s car park and causing traffic jams, vendors told the Post on Wednesday.
Deputy governor of Siem Reap city, Oeun Pov, said 98 stallholders from Phsar Leu market were scheduled to be relocated. “Moving to the new site will not affect them because it is 20 metres from their old site,” he said.
However, protesters said over 100 stallholders would be evicted, and that some who had held pitches on the site for more than 10 years would lose regular customers if forced to relocate.
Sin Kimhorng, 25, said she was opposed to the plan because officials wanted her to move to a site that was very small and full of rubbish.
Y Rom, 35, said stallholders would lose income and die of starvation if authorities force them to move.
“We have sold on the site for more than 10 years. Why do they want to move us?” she said.
Oeun Pov said the market was a public space and officials had the right to relocate stallholders.
He said that the new site was full of rubbish, but that authorities would clean it up before moving them to the site.
“This market problem is a very complex issue. Authorities just invited them [to the provincial hall] so we could explain the plan, but they staged a protest outside the provincial hall,” he said, adding that he did not know what to do next besides discuss the issue with relevant officials.